Drew Holcomb Happily Returns to San Diego – Report from Gallagher Square

It was a smart move for an astute and talented performer when Drew Holcomb signed on as the opening act for Darius Rucker’s current tour.

Both artists touched down in San Diego for a spirited show at the relatively intimate Gallagher Square. Situated just past the outfield at Petco Park, the grassy hillside was a perfect setting on a balmy evening.

It was Holcomb’s last gig for the summer, and he hit it out of the park.

Ambitiously front loading his setlist with a bunch of new songs, he acknowledged the strategy a few tunes in: “Y’all are wondering ‘who is this guy up here and all the new songs,’ well the songs are new to us too!”

One of the best new songs “Gratitude” was a heart-felt worldview from Holcomb.

Similarly, “What Would I Do Without You” was delivered with conviction. “I wrote it for my wife of 18 years. I hope you like it but I don’t care because she loves it.”

Another touchstone for Holcomb’s worldview was shared by listeners, he humbly pointed out that after 20 years the band hit #1 with “Find Your People.”

Mid-set Holcomb let the cat out of the bag and announced he’d be back in San Diego in the spring for a gig at The Belly Up, “one of the finest clubs in America.” He mentioned the gig when we spoke a few weeks ago, but I have dutifully protected any radius clause issues until now.

Mark that gig down to ensure one of the best evenings of 2024.

With such a rich songbook of his own, I was surprised Holcomb chose to cover Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” A solid version, but Holcomb can rely on his vast repertoire to fill out a couple headlining gigs. I really missed the superb “American Beauty” and the soaring “Good Light.”

But that leaves me hungry for the next gig. Astute thinking on the artist’s part, indeed.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.